In a recent CNN article, write Anne Quito suggested that certain fonts can contribute to racism.
The article, titled “Karate, Wonton, Chow Fun: The End of ‘Chop Suey’ Fonts,” states that fonts used to communicate “Asaianness” create negative stereotypes.
“Type designers in the West have since cooked up many of their own versions of chop suey. Variations on the font are commercially distributed as Wonton, Peking, Buddha, Ginko, Jing Jing, Kanban, Shanghai, China Doll, Fantan, Martial Arts, Rice Bowl, Sunamy, Karate, Chow Fun, Chu Ching San JNL, Ching Chang and Chang Chang,” the report said.
“It’s hard not to cringe at the Chinese stereotypes bundled up with each font package — especially when seen through the lens of today’s heightened vigilance toward discrimination and systemic racism. Critics believe that using chop suey typefaces is downright racist, particularly when deployed by non-Asian creators,” it continued.
Quito’s rant goes on for several paragraphs. She also said that politicians have used these fonts to perpetuate racism. But as Fox News notes, she was able to cite only “two examples from the past 144 years.”
Later in the article, Quito admits that Chinese immigrants themselves have also used the font on their own businesses.
“It’s worth noting that, in 1930s America, some Chinese immigrants themselves used chop suey fonts on their restaurant signs, menus, and advertisements, as a way to heighten the exotic appeal of their establishments,” Quito wrote.
“CNN has reached the epitome of ‘we’re out of stuff to pretend to be outraged by this week for clicks’ if they’re surmising which fonts are racist,” political satirist Tim Young told Fox News.
“This piece leaves me with more questions than virtue signals,” Young said. “Which fonts belong to which demographics? Does this mean Times New Roman is a Caucasian font? Is the old typewriter font for elderly people? Are there straight and gay fonts or fonts based on the 54 genders? I need to know. I’m so confused at this point,” he continued.
CNN received backlash on Twitter for claiming that a cultural font can somehow be racist:
“Oh my God. Do people not have better things to do than find things to cancel? How are people going to personify fonts like this?!?? WHO CARES” one user tweeted.
“This is dumb. Stop looking for ways to divide people. Typography is a communication tool, and in the vast majority of instances this is well-intentioned and informative,” another said.
“Does racist even mean anything anymore? It used to be reserved for nasty people. Now it’s a marketing tool,” someone said.